Vietnam Trip 2017, Vietnam Travel guide, Vietnam cities, Vietnam travel blog 2017, Vietnam tourism & vacations
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Vietnam (Việt Nam), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Cộng hòa Xã hội Chủ nghĩa Việt Nam) is a long, thin country in Southeast Asia. Its neighbouring countries are China to the north, Laos and Cambodia to the west.
Once a lesser-known destination, Vietnam has become widely popular in recent years. With Hanoi consistently ranked among the world's top 10 destinations by TripAdvisor, one can now find European tourists as far as in Ha Giang, one of the most remote mountainous provinces.
See in Vietnam Trip
Simply walking to the nearest intersection and merely watching the driving antics is amazing. Keep watching and you may see TV's and fridges and other unlikely objects impossibly balanced and secured with string on the back of a motorcycle. Watch how other people and locals cross the road.
You will need to observe the traffic etiquette before you cross the road. Some suggest avoiding crossing when trucks and lorry's are around, as they are less agile than motorbikes.
If you happen to be around during to/from school hours, this is the best time to observe a glimpse of pushbikes, traditional clothing and ao dai mixing it with 'normal' traffic, even in the heaviest of torrential downpours. This is an example of the motivation of the school children!
As you travel about, you will find there are clusters of shops all selling similar goods - like 20 sewing machine shops together, then 30 hardware shops all together, 200 motorcycle repair shops in the same block. This makes for very competitive prices!
Be wary of watch shops selling original authentic fakes. Other fake watches are available but not as cheap as other surrounding countries. Pirated software is oddly very hard to find and not sold openly. However Movie DVD's of differing quality are widely available from US$1, although not all may have English on them. The local post office will strictly not allow them to be posted abroad.
Vietnam claims Health tourism is on the rise. Hygiene, infection control and proper sterilization is very important, as drug resistant 'bugs' are always a concern, anywhere.
Do in Vietnam Trip
Motorbiking is popular with locals and tourists alike. Given that motorbikes are the main mode of transport in Vietnam, they can give a particularly authentic view of travelling through the country.
Renting or buying a bike is possible in many cities. Also consider Motorbike adventure tours, which involve being guided on multi-day drives to remote regions of the country. Most tours include accommodation, petrol, helmets, drivers and entry tickets to local places of interest. Guides usually speak good English or French and offer customised tours if desired. Motorbike Sightseeing Tours are similar but have a more local range specific to one city or area and can focus on food, shopping or sightseeing.
As mentioned in the work section below, many travelers like to spend some time working with the local community as a volunteer. Most of these programs require the volunteer to pay fees which cover meals, accommodation and which also allow the local organisations to fund social programs. These fees can vary from a hundred dollars a week to several thousand so it is a good idea to research thoroughly.
Besides, there are lots of options to do in Vietnam:
First: Take a cruise trip to visit Halong Bay. You can spend 1 day of Hanoi - Halong Bay cruise - Hanoi, or 2 days with 1 night over on cruise, or 3 days with 2 nights over on cruise. The transfer by road from Hanoi to Halong Bay takes about 4 hours. You may select seat in coach bus, or private transfer. Also, you may choose joining cruise, or private charter. There are hundreds of cruises in Halong Bay with wide range of standard from budget to luxury.
Second: Take a trip to Sapa. There are two ways: Sapa by train, and Sapa by road. For Sapa by train, take overnight train from Hanoi to Lao Cai, you will arrive Sapa in early morning, then ideally spend 2 days in Sapa, and take overnight train back to Hanoi when you will reach Hanoi in early morning in the following day. Please note that there is not day train between Hanoi and Lao Cai. For Sapa by road, it takes about 4 hours to transfer between Hanoi and Sapa town.
Third: Take a cooking class. Vietnamese cuisine is diverse and tasty and one of the many highlights of a visit to the country. There are lots of cooking class options in Hanoi, in Hoi An, and in Ho Chi Minh. You may take half day or full day cooking class. However, please select the class with market-visit arrangement so that you can experience the local market.